With the Office 2016 for Mac and Office Mobile for Android and iOS already being rolled out, Microsoft completed the set with the release of Office 2016 for Windows on Tuesday, September 22. Its been three years since Microsoft updated its productivity tools for Windows, and this new version of Office for Windows comes with new features and services designed for today’s cloud computing era. Office 2016 has been redesigned for Windows 10 optimization, improved collaboration, and tighter security. All apps within the Office suite have been updated, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Project, and Visio. Microsoft also launched Office 2016 for Mac as a one-time purchase option along with several new and enhanced Office 365 services.
So what’s new?
Microsoft made collaboration a core priority in the Office 2016 with these updates:
- The real-time co-authoring feature that is already present in the Office Web apps is now applied in native Office apps. This feature allows several individuals to edit a document at the same time and see one another’s comments as they are written.
- Skype for Business lets you chat, screen share, or video chat directly from your document, or start a co-authoring session from any conversation.
- Office 365 Groups, which is available as part of Outlook 2016 and as an iOS, Android, and Windows app, keeps teams connected. You can create a public or private teams within the Office 365 Groups and have access to your own shared inbox, calendar, cloud storage for group files, and a shared OneNote notebook.
- Teams can organize their work with Office 365 Planner. Planner lets you create plans, organize and assign tasks, set due dates, and update status. It’s visual dashboards and notifications update the team on the progress of their project.
- The recently unveiled Project GigJam is made available in private preview and will become a part of Office 365 in 2016. GigJam provides a new way for teams to accomplish tasks and transform business processes by breaking down the barriers between devices, apps and people.
Other highlight features of the new Office 2016 are:
- Tell Me and Smart Lookup made their way from Office Online to desktop apps. If you’re looking for a specific Office feature or command, Tell Me will interpret your request to help you find the tool you need. Smart Lookup delivers information from the Web right into your documents.
- Outlook 2016 now automatically removes low-priority mail, delivers lightning fast search, and ensures that recipients have the correct access to OneDrive cloud attachments.
- The updated Excel 2016 includes publishing to Power BI and new modern chart-types to help you make the most of your data.
- Security in Office 2016 is stronger than ever. Microsoft added the built-in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to reduce the risk of leaking sensitive data by giving IT admins tools to create, manage, and enforce policies for content authoring and document sharing. The Multifactor Authentication ensures secure access to content anywhere when employees are away from the corporate network.
Aside form the ones mention above, new tools such as the Office 365 Groups insights and discovery in Office Delve, personal work analytics in Delve, additional charts and formulas for Excel, expanded presentation capabilities in PowerPoint, and the availability of Office insights from Cortana are also available on Office 2016. The new Office 2016 apps are available in 40 languages and require Windows 7 or later versions. Office 365 subscribers have the option to download the new Office 2016 apps as part of their subscription.